S. Epatha Merkerson 
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S. Epatha Merkerson

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Merkerson was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Berniece in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Piano Lesson and won an Obie Award in 1992 for her work in I'm Not Stupid. Prior to her role as Berniece in ″The Piano Lesson,″ she assumed the lead role in the one-woman play, ″Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill,″ after Lonette McKee left the role due to health reasons in 1987. Her screen credits include Jacob's Ladder, Loose Cannons, She's Gotta Have It and James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which she played the terrified wife of Joe Morton. In 2006, she won Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards for her performance in the television movie Lackawanna Blues, her first starring role. In 2007, she starred on stage in Los Angeles in William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in the role made famous by Shirley Booth, and in January 2008 opened on Broadway in the production. For the revival of Come Back, Little Sheba, Merkerson earned her second Tony nomination.

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